June 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM
SUMMIT, NJ - If you see some Lincoln-Hubbard Elementary School students with brooms and bats, quaffle balls, bludgers, and a person called a “snitch” running around, you’ll know you’re in the midst of a Quidditch game. Thanks to a grant from the Summit Educational Foundation, the school has a new Quidditch Club.
The sport of Quidditch originated from the Harry Potter book series written by J.K. Rowling. The sport has been adapted for "muggle" or non-magical play. In the past, muggle Quidditch has mainly been played at colleges in the United States, but over the last few years, Quidditch has also spread outside of America and is now played on five continents. There are many different ways of playing Quidditch, but the most commonly used set of rules are those given by the International Quidditch Association (IQA). It is also a co-ed sport, where girls and boys can complete at the same level.
The goal of the grant was to introduce an alternative physical game and activity besides traditional sports. Students would learn the skills/positions and rules of the game while being encouraged to read related literature. Nick Murray is the Lincoln-Hubbard teacher and grant author. He explains, “Overall, I wanted to teach Quidditch club members the importance of teamwork and the willingness to try new things. We gradually introduced new skills and rules while playing, so that everyone could learn the complexities of Quidditch without getting overwhelmed. The club has ‘incentive mechanics’ that use reading and playtime logs to encourage students to read and play in addition to participating in the club. My goal has been to reward students for their work on and off the field. They start with a foam broom, then move up to bamboo brooms and then to tournament brooms. The goal is to log 50 hours total by the end of the session.”
Students are also enthusiastic about the Quidditch club. Tristan says, “It is more about the team and fun, with a little math.” Marco adds, “It’s awesome. It’s a sport from the Harry Potter series, which is awesome, so the sport has to be awesome.” Calla agrees, explaining, “I like that it was a book and a movie and now we can play it. I like that it’s not that simple to play --there are many rules and equipment.”
To find out more about SEF, please visit www.sefnj.org.